Change the culture from top down
Let staff know that you care about their wellbeing and that they can reach out at any time. Lead from the top down. Be seen to be actively encouraging wellbeing in the workplace. Don’t be a box-ticking organisation only.
Stigma around mental health remains a big issue. We need to work together to tackle it. If you don’t already have a Mental Health First Aider, consider training one up. Create a safe space for all mental health conversations.
Have regular one-to-one meetings to track employee wellbeing. This can provide opportunities for professional development, learning or mentoring, while also giving employees a chance to raise issues regularly. Start the meeting with “how are you”?
Encourage employees to work from home or have more flexible working hours, so they can achieve work/life balance more easily. There are many different forms of flexible working, including homeworking, part-time working, flexitime or job sharing. You have legal obligations if employees request to work flexibly. Try and proactively think of ways in which your employees might be able to work more flexibly.
Encourage breaks, mindfulness and self-care. Check in with employees who are regularly working over their contracted hours. Try having alternative style meetings, such as “walk and talk”.
Physical environment matters
Pets can help decrease stress and improve mental wellbeing. Ensure office spaces are well lit. Plants can help reduce stress.
Start an in-work fitness program. Encourage cycle to work schemes.
See the benefit in stakeholder interests
Stakeholder interests are also important. Consider altering KPIS to take into account wellbeing, contribution to the business, contribution to teams and charitable work and not just take account of financial targets.
Written by Imogen Hamblin